There was a moment in planning this shoot with director John Langs of ACT when I felt we were working out a truly unique concept, even though we were talking about the well-known story of Romeo and Juliet. With all the preparation and experience I’d had up to that point, nothing had prepared me for the overwhelming emotions I felt seeing this shoot transform in front of my eyes. We had set the stage, had a crew of about 10 assisting with lighting and the various pieces needed to make this come together. It seemed that all the hours of prep disappeared the moment Gabriella and Josh walked in. It was moments of watching the direction of John Langs before Romeo and Juliet came to life. The whole production just sat in awe or moved through the staging to assist the scene that we couldn’t bear to interrupt. Josh and Gabriella had literally just met, and they both transformed us into the scene until the hairs on the back of our necks stood up. When we completed the shoot, we all paused. I thought I was going to cry and I held back, thinking I was probably the only one. But it was one breathless confession after the other that we had truly experienced something special.
Here is a beautiful feature with Seattle Times that describes the work and what we can expect in this production: “Here’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ like you’ve never seen it, with the star-crossed lovers bridging the gap between American Sign Language and English”
Video: Cameron Johnson